|This is on my fridge. I know it is lots more than one word but word definitions help words come alive to me.|
Shalom is my word for 2015. It is the hebrew word for peace. 2014 was a hectic year and I ended it just longing for peace.
During the hectic time the Lord continued to teach me the importance of finding my peace in him.
One of the practical ways that I do that is the discipline of silence and solitude. It is a discipline because it truly takes intentionality. Someone had shared with me that they have a lot of silence and solitude because they work alone in an office. True, it is quiet and alone but is all that time truly purposefully seeking God?
Solitude is about “creating space for God and to stop doing and just be in God’s presence”- ideas from a favorite book, Scared Rhythms.
During this past summer and fall when anxiety would take over, I had to force myself to stop, step away and often step outside to receive the peace from God.
It was out of desperation and not often out of discipline. 😉
But through that I learned and experienced the richness of this discipline. I feel like I have only begun to experience the peace that the Lord has for me.
It was during those trials that I clung to silence/solitude and it taught me that my everyday life needs more of silence/solitude. The lyrics to Oceans by Hillsong were actually lived out during this time. I first heard of it early last spring and listened to a million times. It was so safe singing in the calmer season but then to feel like I lived it out and now on the other side- it is quite an experience. It was not easy but I would not trade it – for what it did for my faith.
“When oceans rise, I’ll rest in your embrace” those lyrics perfectly explain my need to retreat for silence and solitude in moments when I felt the panic creeping and starting to feel overwhelmed.
“And my faith will be made stronger- in the presence of my savior”- no doubt my faith has been made stronger as I intentionally pursue the discipline of silence and solitude.
Seven Sacred Pauses is a book that is helping me to be intentional about pausing when I remember to. I have a post here, Your Soul Needs a Mini Retreat. One book on my to read list for this year is Invitation to Silence and Solitude.
I like the reading plan I did called One Word on the youversion app. Their website, Get one word. I had been praying and thinking on a word because of another favorite book, Rhythms of Grace. She has a very practical step by step process to plan out your year for more peace.